Last Updated 10/07/2020

Victorian Government's new $534 million Business Support Package (10/07/2020)

The Victorian Government has launched a new $534 million Business Support Package, providing more support to help businesses and workers through to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new package includes:

  • The expanded Business Support Fund providing more than 80,000 eligible businesses with a new $5,000 grant to support them through the renewed restrictions. This grant was previously made available to the 2 postcodes linked to outbreaks.  It will now apply to all areas under Stage 3 restrictions.
  • A $30 million dedicated fund for Victoria’s night-time economy to support the hardest hit businesses in hospitality. 
  • A $26 million in mental health support will ensure Victorians dealing with the compounding challenges of running a small business can get the support they need as they navigate their way through the crisis.
  • A $10 million business mentoring program, pairing small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis.
  • A $40 million capped fund for regional tourism businesses to cover the costs of refunds, as well as marketing campaigns to boost region to region visitation while Melbourne is locked down. Eligible operators will be able to claim up to $225 per night for up to five nights for each and every room cancelled due to the return of Stage 3 restrictions, provided they refund the booking in full.
  • A $20 million fund to support small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD that are faced with a large and sustained shock to their trading environments.

Businesses will also benefit from an extended and expanded payroll tax deferral. Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020/21 financial year.

Updated Restrictions (07/07/2020)

  • No changes to Ballarat & Regional Victoria restrictions.
  • Metropolitan Melbourne areas to go back into Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions from 11.59pm Wed 8 July 2020. Stay at home except for 4 reasons to leave for 6 weeks from tomorrow evening. Only reasons to leave home: To go to work, shopping, study, give care or get care. Cannot leave metropolitan Melbourne for daily exercise.

Read the statement from the Premier


Postcode Lockdowns (4/07/2020)

  • From 11.59pm 1 July 2020, there are new restrictions for people who live in restricted postcodes in Melbourne.
  • The restricted postcodes are: 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064.
  • Additional postcodes 3031 and 3051 will be restricted from 11:59pm, 4 July.
  • Under the new restrictions there are only four reasons that you can leave home: shopping for food and essential items; to provide care giving or to seek medical treatment; for exercise; to work or study, if you cannot work or study from home.
  • You cannot have visitors or visit friends and family who live at another household, except for caregiving or compassionate reasons or providing services.
  • Stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, keeping at least 1.5 metres from others and staying home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) get tested

National Cabinet Statement (26/06/20)

The National Cabinet met today to further discuss Australia’s current COVID-19 response, easing restrictions in the coming months, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment and getting the economy moving again.

The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, provided an update on the measures underway, the latest data and medical advice in relation to COVID-19.

Treasury Secretary, Dr Stephen Kennedy, provided an update on the labour market and current economic conditions. Keep reading here

$250 million JobMaker plan to restart Australia's creative economy (25/06/20)

Thousands of jobs across Australia’s arts industry will be backed with a new $250 million targeted package to help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.

A range of new grant and loan programs will roll out over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the $112 billion creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the commercial arts and entertainment sector was one of the first sectors to be impacted by COVID-19 and will be one of the last to come out of hibernation as social distancing restrictions are eased. Keep reading here

Victoria's Restriction Levels From 11:59pm on 21 June (20/06/20) 

  • The number of visitors you can have at your home will reduce to five (from the current limit of ten).
  • Outside the home, families and friends can meet in groups up to ten.  
  • Restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship – will all stay at a maximum of 20 people in any one space until 12 July.
  • Businesses that were set to open on Monday like gyms, cinemas, theatres and TABs can do so – but again, only with a maximum of 20.
  • Community sport for kids and non-contact competition for adults can proceed as planned. 
  • Ski season and accommodation facilities with communal spaces will also open, but with increased screening and safeguards in place.
  • The Premier today (20 June) announced a new $1500 payment for those who have a confirmed case or are a close contact and who can’t rely on sick leave. This is about making sure there’s no financial reason for these people not to isolate and to go to work instead.
  • Those who can work from home continue to do so at least until 31 July. And if you do have people on the job – having a zero-tolerance approach to sickness. Having symptoms must mean you go home, and you get tested.

Guidelines for the hospitality, beauty and tourism industry are available on the Business Victoria website, with today's updates to the restrictions to be available in due course.

If you need information on the operation of your business or access to assistance relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), you can call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 or Contact them.


Leasing Advice - Victorian Small Business Commission (5/06/2020)

To ease financial hardship faced by some tenants and landlords as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Victorian Government has introduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme).

The Regulations for the Scheme have been made under the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020. Under the Scheme, the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) is providing commercial tenants and landlords with access to free mediation to support fair tenancy negotiations.

Read more here.

'If you can work from home, you must work from home'. (1/06/20)

In light of new evidence indicating increased activity, the obligation for employers to keep their staff working from home will now be included in the Chief Health Officer’s directions. For employees, that means an obligation to keep working from home. And for employers, an obligation to support them in doing so.

Read the statement from the Premier